iccoins's Blog

07 Dec 2018

More Things To Never Do To Your Coins

| iccoins

My original article got very long, so I decided to break it up. I don’t want you to lose interest. 

Say No To Chemicals 

Paper envelopes, plastic PVC flips. These are cheap ways to store your coins. Don’t. Spend the extra bit of money to get better quality products. Paper was not created to store coins in and will release chemicals onto your coins over time if they are stored in paper envelopes. The chemicals will cause unattractive toning, discoloration, and spotting. Paper can easily turn a great mint state coin into a disaster. PVC can often be worse. If you’ve ever seen that disgusting green slime on the surface of a coin, that’s PVC, polyvinyl chloride damage. The chemicals in certain plastics will leech out and damage the coins over time. Storing coins in PVC flips is generally fine for a short period of time, but once you keep them in there longer, it will be damaged forever and will be ungradable by the grading services and you will find it difficult to find a buyer, even at a significantly reduced price. 

Don’t Talk When Your Coins Are Out 

Something that is done way too often is talking when coins are out of their holders. Your mouth is filled with saliva, which is released from your mouth and will land on the coins. At that points, the coin will begin to spot, change color, and create unattractive toning. Mint state and proof coins are destroyed all the time by talking. For a personal example, when I was much younger (I’ve learned a lot since then), I was looking at a Franklin Half Dollar I have. I then sneezed all over the coin! I was very freaked out and quickly tried to carefully wipe it off. It looked like it worked, but, interestingly enough, after a couple months, a couple dark spots appeared on the coin. Fortunately, this is a circulated common-date Franklin Half Dollar worth only a small premium above spot, but still, I am still upset I ruined a coin. 

Store Your Coins Properly 

Another common mistake when it comes to protecting a collection is coin storage. Keep your coins in a controlled environment, with minimal temperature and humidity changes. If you keep your collection in a log cabin in northern Michigan or Minnesota where it is only heated occasionally for trips, that’s a bad idea. It’s also a bad idea to put coins in attics or basements. Many people recommend using silica to help protect the coins from the humidity. Intercept Technology is a great way to protect your coins from tarnishing and destruction. A great way to protect your coins is to have them all slabbed and “sonically sealed” by a professional grading service like PCGS or NGC. You can put them in a dark, dry safe with silica in an Intercept Technology storage box. That way, your coins are safe from burglary, fire, and, most of all, the environment 

Breaking Coins Out Of Slabs 

Should you break coins out of slabs? Well, the answer depends. My recommendation is no, but some people have reasons to. Some collectors are absolutely against breaking coins out of slabs, while others do it all the time. Some people like having the raw coins and only buy slabbed coins because 1.) that’s what is available or 2.) they like to know it’s genuine and authentic, but would rather put them in an album, like the Dansco 7070 album. If you do break coins out of slabs, be sure to be careful to avoid damaging the coin and also...and this is extremely important...send the broken slab back to the grading company!! People often send coins in for regrading and each time that happens, the population number for the coin is increased in the database. By sending the slab back, it tells them that the coin is no longer considered in that population and can be removed. The company will not be mad at you for breaking it out, but rather be grateful that you took the time to help make the population and price reports as accurate as possible. 



Level 6

Really great blog! So many good points...some I haven't thought of. Once I bought a slabbed Morgan to break out to put in a album, but when I got ready to do it...I couldn't, it just seemed wrong.

Jonas's Coins

Level 5

I once tried to break a coin out. The slab was so strong I couldn't even do it!


Level 5

Basic numismatic common sense here, thanks for laying it out!


Level 6

Well done, good points. I have seen coins scratched by staples from old 2 x 2 holders

These are great things that you should never do, great article.


Level 6

Good advice. Proper handling and storage is at the top of list.


Level 3

Thanks for the solid advice! :) I like these types of posts very much. Informative and to the point. Keep it up!


Level 6

All good advice. Hard plastic flips are better than the soft type. They have no PVC's but one can easily scratch the coin. It is important to realize that plastic slabs are NOT impervious to air. Sorry everybody. They are, no doubt, the best way to store coins but keep an eye on them. I've seen, with my own eyes, a coin doctor tone a slabbed coin. My dealer has a 2019 slabbed SAE in his shop right now that is getting a beautiful golden tone coming up from the bottom obverse. Just chemistry. Thank you.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I have broken a few out of the slab, mostly to place in albums, etc. I have not thought to inform PCGS or NGC of my action. Thanks for the suggestion. I will write them and see if they will accept a picture of the broken slab in lieu of the actual slab sent back to them.


Level 7

Let the company take it out of the slab. You can damage it it cost five dollars the rest I read before good advice.mike

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